Saudi shares close higher despite oil price drop

Kingdom's all-share index rises 0.2%, led by gains in the bankin sector
Saudi shares close higher despite oil price drop
By Reuters
Sat 22 Dec 2012 12:46 PM

Saudi shares closed slightly up, recouping losses sustained during early trading to gain 0.20 percent by the end of the session, led by banking stocks.

Saudi share prices are often influenced by activity on Wall Street and in global oil markets, both of which suffered minor losses on Friday.

The banking index gained 0.17 percent, led by a 0.38 percent rise for heavyweight Al Rajhi Bank, Saudi Arabia's largest listed lender. However, the important petrochemical index lost 0.35 percent.

The collapse of a Republican plan to avoid the US "fiscal cliff" on Friday caused shares to dip on Wall Street and oil prices to fall by more than 1 percent.

Brent February crude fell $1.23 a barrel and US February crude dropped $1.47 a barrel. The Dow Jones Industrial average closed down 0.91 percent and the Standard & Poor's 500 Index lost 0.94 percent.

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